Different numbers of rye B chromosomes induce identical compaction changes in distinct A chromosome domains

L. Morais-Cecilio, R. Neil Jones, M. Delgado, A. D. Caperta, W. Viegas, T. Ribeiro

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14 Citations (SciVal)


In rye each B chromosome (B) represents 5.5% of the diploid A genome. Rye Bs have several nuclear to whole plant effects although they seem to bear no genes except for the ones that lead to their maintenance within a population. In this context, and considering that rye Bs are enriched in repetitive non-coding regions that build up heterochromatin (het), we investigated the influence of Bs on the organization of two chromatin fractions, namely the ribosomal DNA (facultative het) and satellite (non-het) domain of rye chromosome 1 by silver staining on root tip metaphase cells. The results show that rye Bs cause condensation both in the NOR and in the chromosome 1 satellite domain. Since the silver staining technique used is indicative of the transcriptional activity of the NORs, the condensation observed at those loci demonstrates that the rRNA gene arrays are down-regulated in the presence of Bs, regardless of their number per individual. Furthermore, the organizational changes of metaphase NORs find parallel with the interphase organization of ribosomal chromatin, since the frequency of cells with intranucleolar condensed rDNA regions increases drastically and nuclear matrix attachment pattern is altered in the presence of the Bs. Our results show an identical effect of the Bs on the organization of two distinct chromosome domains displaying a presence/absence dichotomy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-4
Number of pages3
JournalCytogenetic and Genome Research
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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